North Coast scores clean sweep
THE annual inter-district junior AFL fixtures were played on Sunday at Richardson Park, Sawtell, home ground of the Sawtell Saints.
Another perfect day on the North Coast provided the large crowd of spectators with a picture-perfect day of junior football.
Enthusiasm, good skills and sportsmanship provided the spectators with entertaining games throughout the day. All players, both winners and losers, can congratulate themselves on their sportsmanship on the day.
The results this year was again another clean sweep for the North Coast teams over the Far North Coast for the second year in a row. The teams were competing for the Mike Kenny Shield's in U12's, U14's and U16's year's age groups.
Under 12s: This was the close one for the day with our younger players tested on the large ground at Richardson Park.
From the first bounce Far North Coast were quick to send the ball into attack and looked threatening in front of goal.
They were soon rewarded with a goal to take the early lead. Coach of the North Coast team, Jason Phillips, made some quick changes to turn the game around late in the first term to see the North Coast lead by a single point at quarter time.
With the aid of the wind in the second quarter North Coast were able to kick two unanswered goals to extend their lead in what turned out to be a match winning lead at half-time.
The rotation of players at half-time ensured a tight struggle between the two sides to gain the upper hand in the third quarter.
With good use of the wind the Far North Coast kicked two goals to one to only be nine points down at three quarter time.
The last quarter was dominated by the visitors who were constantly putting the North Coast defence under pressure, on the few occasions the North Coast were able to attack they were well held and unable to register a score.
The Far North Coast narrowed the lead to just two points, but was unable to breach the gap before the final siren.
'The Good Guys' players of match and Best on Ground medal were Caleb Gazzard for the North Coast and Jai Stafford for the Far North Coast.
Final score ? North Coast 4 goals 5 behinds 29 to Far Nth Coast 4 goals 3 behinds 27.
Under 14s: North Coast was expected to dominate this game with coach Dean Burkitt having a team with not only excellent football skills, but a wealth of experience together as a team and at representative level as well.
The players didn't disappoint the large crowd of supporters showcasing their skills and teamwork for all to enjoy.
The North Coast made the most of their opportunities in front of goal to lead by 12 points at quarter time.
A great defensive effort in the second and third quarters kept the visitors to just one goal enabling the home side to open up a comfortable lead of 29 points.
Coach Burkitt rotated his players throughout the game enabling them to finish with plenty of run in the final quarter, outscoring the Far North Coast 4 goals to 1.
'The Good Guys' players of match were Simon Taylor for the North Coast and Sam Northfield for the Far North Coast. Best on Ground Medals for the North Coast was Jack Gillingham and for the Far North Coast Daniel Cohen.
Final score ? North Coast 11 goals 7 behinds 73 to Far North Coast 3 goals 6 behinds 24.
Under 16s: In a game that was expected to be tight the North Coast team proved too strong for the fancied Far North Coast side.
With interrupted preparation due to rain and ground closers, the team work and skills of the North Coast team was always going to be an unknown quality.
A dominating performance in the first quarter saw the local side continually win the hard balls and send the ball forward to hungry and skilful forward line who delivered at every opportunity.
Tight defence and domination of the midfield kept pressure on the visitors forcing turnovers enabling the home side to open a comfortable quarter time lead.
Coach Steve Ward instructions at quarter time were to finish the game off by half-time.
The players did not disappoint kicking another six goals to lead by 10 goals at half-time.
The third quarter saw a spirited fight back from the Far Nth Coast producing the best football for the day.
The crowd were treated to some class football with the visitors scoring two goals to the North Coast three. The third quarter effort took its toll on the visitors. The home side enjoyed a flood of possession to score another seven goals and restrict the visitors to just the one solitary goal.
'The Good Guys' players of match were Kyle Stojcesvki for the North Coast and Luke Saltmarsh for the Far North Coast. Best on Ground Medals for the North Coast was Shannon Burow and for the Far North Coast Fletcher Parr.
Final score ? North Coast 22 goals 12 behinds 144 to Far North Coast 4 goals 4 behinds 28.